Interesting routes from Australia to Hawaii

Old Dec 8, 17, 3:50 pm
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Interesting routes from Australia to Hawaii

Hi All

I am traveling from Australia to Hawaii in January. I'm interested in unique routings which would allow me to see South Pacific destinations for a couple days on the way.

I would prefer options using United, AA, or VA miles, but am open to buying tickets also. So flights on HA, QF, VA, and NZ are all potential award opportunities.

I have been to Tahiti and the Cook Islands, and have a Fiji trip planned in the future, so options other than these would be ideal.

I know about the island hopper, but since United canceled the GUM-CNS route, this is too difficult right now. One day I'll do it

There are so many small nations and small airlines in this region, I am looking for some extra knowledge amd ideas!

Cheers
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Old Dec 8, 17, 3:57 pm
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Unless you are happy with backtracking there aren't many options because most of the South Pacific destinations served from Australia or NZ do not have onward flights to HNL.

FJ has a flight to Hawaii via Tarawa (Kiribati)
I think HA has flights to Apia (Samoa).
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Old Dec 8, 17, 5:36 pm
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I'm happy to book separate tickets, just looking for countries with some service between Hawaii and Australia or even NZ as I could connect there.

Samoa is an interesting option. I think HA flies to American Samoa, while VA flies to Samoa, but maybe I can get between the two... Thanks!
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Old Dec 8, 17, 6:09 pm
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If you look at Wikipedia airport entires, most will have destinations and airlines, including some obscure to us, that serve the South Pacific

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nadi_I...tional_Airport
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faleol...tional_Airport
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/La_Ton...tional_Airport
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniel...tional_Airport
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vava%C...tional_Airport
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fa%27a...tional_Airport

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aircalin
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solomon_Airlines
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fiji_Airways
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fiji_Airways_destinations
https://www.talofaairways.com/ "Talofa Airways is an airline providing passenger and cargo services on Flights between Samoa, American Samoa, Tonga and other islands of the Pacific."

Last edited by Mwenenzi; Dec 8, 17 at 6:14 pm
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Old Dec 9, 17, 1:27 am
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Thanks @Mwenenzi. That was a helpful way to look at routes and airlines. It is difficult to find up to date route maps in this region.

It seems to me that the best options are Samoa with VA/HA, a few options with FJ, including Kiribati, or Solomon Islands with their national airline. Few of these routes fly every day, so I'll dig deeper into times, dates, and prices.
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Old Dec 9, 17, 3:04 pm
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Here is what I've come up with. The QF codeshares cover most independent airlines that fly from Australia to the Pacific.

HA Pacific intl destinations (From HNL)
Pago Pago, American Samoa (PPG)
Papeete, FP (PPT)
Guam, USA (GUM)

VA Pacific intl destinations (from Australia)
Apia, Samoa (APW)
Honiara, Solomon Islands (HIR)
Nadi, Fiji (NAN)
Nuku'alofa, Tonga (TBU)
Port Vila, Vanuatu (VLI)

QF Pacific intl destinations (from Australia), incl codeshares
Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu (SON)
Port Vila, Vanuatu (VLI)
Honiara, Solomon Islands (HIR)
Nadi, Fiji (NAN)
Suva, Fiji (SUV)
Noumea, New Caledonia (NOU)

FJ intl destinations (from NAN)
Kiribati (TRW and CXI)
Apia, Samoa (APW)
Honiara, Solomon Islands (HIR)
Nuku'alofa, Tonga (TBU)
Neiafu, Tonga (VAV)
Funafuti, Tuvalu (FUN)
Port Vila, Vanuatu (VLI)
Honolulu, USA (HNL)

FJ intl destinations (from HNL)
Kiritimati, Kiribati (CXI)
Apia, Samoa (APW)
Nadi, Fiji (NAN)

Solomon Airlines (IE) intl destinations (from HIR)
Nadi, Fiji (NAN)
Port Vila, Vanuatu (VLI)
Tarawa, Kiribati (TRW)

I see a few options:

VA to APW, FJ APW-HNL. The only one-stop option from Australia besides NAN
VA to APW, ferry or short flight to PPG, PPG-HNL on Hawaiian. This is a standout because it is two island nations but a short trip between them, with no backtracking.

VA/QF to VLI, then VLI-NAN-HNL on FJ.
VA to TBU, then TBU-NAN-HNL on FJ.
Any airline to NAN, NAN-CXI-HNL on FJ.
Any airline to HIR, then HIR-NAN-HNL on FJ.

FJ makes a lot of things possible if you want to connect in NAN, but I am leaning towards to double APW/PPG option. Not all these flights are daily, in fact most probably aren't, so from here on it becomes about price and logistics.
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Old Dec 11, 17, 9:02 pm
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So, I have decided on my itinerary.

http://www.gcmap.com/mapui?P=MEL-SYD...PG-HNL-SYD-MEL

I booked VA MEL-SYD-APW (Apia, Samoa) with DL miles (great because I am trying to burn these). 22,500 for these flights.

The ferry/cargo ship option between Apia and PPG (Pago Pago, American Samoa) didn't work unfortunately because it only leaves Thursday night and I arrive Wednesday morning to APW. So I will book a flight. At first I couldn't find anything, but shockingly there is a 'city airport' in Apia, FGI. Polynesian Airlines and Talofa Airways both fly FGI-PPG. Both charge around $100 USD one-way and there are lots and lots of flight times and options each day. Of interest, you arrive 23.5 hours before you left because of the Int'l Date line! So I got one more day than I initially anticipated.

I then fly HA PPG-HNL, for 28k VA points. This flight costs $530 USD one way, so it's a pretty decent deal even though it is a lot of points.

I return HNL-SYD-MEL in J on HA and QF, for 65k AA miles.

So, a fair points outlay but I am in J on the return and I think it will be a fun trip!

I'm really interested in routing through other countries on FJ next time, and the interesting thing is you could even do that on a route to LAX. Although I do love my VA MEL-LAX direct, it'd be hard to give that up for a 3-stopper. A few days on a remote isle might make that better though.

Last edited by CPMaverick; Jun 1, 19 at 2:48 am
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Old Dec 13, 17, 6:28 pm
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Originally Posted by CPMaverick View Post
So, I have decided on my itinerary.

I booked VA MEL-SYD-APW (Apia, Samoa) with DL miles (great because I am trying to burn these). 22,500 for these flights.

The ferry/cargo ship option between Apia and PPG (Pago Pago, American Samoa) didn't work unfortunately because it only leaves Thursday night and I arrive Wednesday morning to APW. So I will book a flight. At first I couldn't find anything, but shockingly there is a 'city airport' in Apia, FGI. Polynesian Airlines and Talofa Airways both fly FGI-PPG. Both charge around $100 USD one-way and there are lots and lots of flight times and options each day. Of interest, you arrive 23.5 hours before you left because of the Int'l Date line! So I got one more day than I initially anticipated.

I then fly HA PPG-HNL, for 28k VA points. This flight costs $530 USD one way, so it's a pretty decent deal even though it is a lot of points.

I return HNL-SYD-MEL in J on HA and QF, for 65k AA miles.

So, a fair points outlay but I am in J on the return and I think it will be a fun trip!

I'm really interested in routing through other countries on FJ next time, and the interesting thing is you could even do that on a route to LAX. Although I do love my VA MEL-LAX direct, it'd be hard to give that up for a 3-stopper. A few days on a remote isle might make that better though.
Sounds like an interesting trip. Very funny that Apia has two airports. Hawaii seems to be the flavour of the month at the moment. I can't tell you how many people are going there over Christmas.
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Old Dec 15, 17, 7:48 am
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Well done, CPMaverick!
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Old Dec 27, 17, 4:46 pm
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What Passport are you travelling on? Outside of a US Passport you need an "Authority to Board" for American Samoa. This needs to be sorted out in advance and you need to pay $20 on arrival. Depending on the passport you might have to apply for a visa which is exhaustive.


Originally Posted by CPMaverick View Post
So, I have decided on my itinerary.

I booked VA MEL-SYD-APW (Apia, Samoa) with DL miles (great because I am trying to burn these). 22,500 for these flights.

The ferry/cargo ship option between Apia and PPG (Pago Pago, American Samoa) didn't work unfortunately because it only leaves Thursday night and I arrive Wednesday morning to APW. So I will book a flight. At first I couldn't find anything, but shockingly there is a 'city airport' in Apia, FGI. Polynesian Airlines and Talofa Airways both fly FGI-PPG. Both charge around $100 USD one-way and there are lots and lots of flight times and options each day. Of interest, you arrive 23.5 hours before you left because of the Int'l Date line! So I got one more day than I initially anticipated.

I then fly HA PPG-HNL, for 28k VA points. This flight costs $530 USD one way, so it's a pretty decent deal even though it is a lot of points.

I return HNL-SYD-MEL in J on HA and QF, for 65k AA miles.

So, a fair points outlay but I am in J on the return and I think it will be a fun trip!

I'm really interested in routing through other countries on FJ next time, and the interesting thing is you could even do that on a route to LAX. Although I do love my VA MEL-LAX direct, it'd be hard to give that up for a 3-stopper. A few days on a remote isle might make that better though.
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Old Dec 27, 17, 5:01 pm
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I am on a USA Passport, but good info. I didn't expect it to be a difficult entry point. Good info for others.
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Old Dec 27, 17, 5:35 pm
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Its a real pain. If you are on the US Visa Waiver list you still have to apply for the OK to Board and pay your $20 on arrival. If you are outside of those its a nightmare, police clearances and medicals etc, for a visitors visa. Was fun when they implemented it as they didnt actually tell anyone in advance.
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Old Sep 23, 18, 9:13 am
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Originally Posted by CPMaverick View Post
So, I have decided on my itinerary.

I booked VA MEL-SYD-APW (Apia, Samoa) with DL miles (great because I am trying to burn these). 22,500 for these flights.

The ferry/cargo ship option between Apia and PPG (Pago Pago, American Samoa) didn't work unfortunately because it only leaves Thursday night and I arrive Wednesday morning to APW. So I will book a flight. At first I couldn't find anything, but shockingly there is a 'city airport' in Apia, FGI. Polynesian Airlines and Talofa Airways both fly FGI-PPG. Both charge around $100 USD one-way and there are lots and lots of flight times and options each day. Of interest, you arrive 23.5 hours before you left because of the Int'l Date line! So I got one more day than I initially anticipated.

I then fly HA PPG-HNL, for 28k VA points. This flight costs $530 USD one way, so it's a pretty decent deal even though it is a lot of points.

I return HNL-SYD-MEL in J on HA and QF, for 65k AA miles.

So, a fair points outlay but I am in J on the return and I think it will be a fun trip!

I'm really interested in routing through other countries on FJ next time, and the interesting thing is you could even do that on a route to LAX. Although I do love my VA MEL-LAX direct, it'd be hard to give that up for a 3-stopper. A few days on a remote isle might make that better though.
Have you completed this itinerary, if so, what was your overall experience? I am contemplating a similar itinerary back to HNL when I return from Papua New Guinea and Australia. However, I read a few reports on TripAdvisor that some passengers didn't receive their luggage until 1.5 days later on Polynesian Airlines from FGI to PPG. Cant imagine missing the twice weekly flight to HNL due to delayed luggage.
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Old Sep 23, 18, 5:14 pm
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Originally Posted by JetSetDave View Post
H.... some passengers didn't receive their luggage until 1.5 days later on Polynesian Airlines from FGI to PPG...
Delayed bags is always a risk on these milk run flights as pax and priority cargo are loaded first and bags only if weight permits. Not unique to Polynesia but perhaps more common as there are few alternative delivery means for priority cargo. You do need to plan accordingly. I was stranded for 3 days once in Pago Pago due to CO DC-10 having mechanical and it took that long to get a replacement plane and crew there. And that's a major airline with big resources. This is adventure travel, don't go if you have a tight schedule.
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Old Sep 23, 18, 8:24 pm
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Originally Posted by JetSetDave View Post
Have you completed this itinerary, if so, what was your overall experience? I am contemplating a similar itinerary back to HNL when I return from Papua New Guinea and Australia. However, I read a few reports on TripAdvisor that some passengers didn't receive their luggage until 1.5 days later on Polynesian Airlines from FGI to PPG. Cant imagine missing the twice weekly flight to HNL due to delayed luggage.
Yes, I did. It was a fantastic trip! It is a little risky to count on inter-island travel schedules in this part of the world. I was lucky that everything in my itinerary was pretty much on schedule. It is smart to build some wiggle room into your schedule if you can. I wouldn't plan on flying HNL- PPG the day after you arrive in PPG for example. I'd give yourself at least 2 nights in PPG.

The HNL-PPG flight was a full red-eye on a very very old 767, so not much to write home about. But, the ability to see Samoa and American Samoa on my way to HNL was worth every hassle.

There are several flights a day FGI-PPG on two airlines. I took Talofa, which is the smaller airline, and the operations left a lot to be desired... but that's kind of how it is in the Pacific ("Island Time"). I got my luggage and we were only delayed about 90 minutes, it was fine. I don't know how booked these flights tend to be, but it certainly seems like there are some options if a flight gets delayed or canceled, or luggage is delayed. Of course, if there are weather problems, there might be no flights for a long period of time.
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